Senate to Vote on Murkowski EPA Block Today

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

The Senate is debating the measure from Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) that would block the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gas emissions threaten public health.

So far, a number of Democrats whose votes were in question have come forward and said they would vote against it. Jim Webb (D-Va.) just said in a statement that he would vote against it. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Mark Begich (D-Alaska) yesterday indicated that they are likely to vote against it as well.

But there are still four Democrats likely to vote for it: Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia. Lincoln just gave a speech on the floor declaring that “Congress, not unelected bureaucrats, should be making the decisions.”

The majority of Democrats, however, are opposing the measure. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), speaking for the majority, called the move to block an agency’s scientific conclusion “unprecedented.” “We have no right to do this,” said Boxer. “What we going to do next, repeal the law of gravity?”

Debate limited to six hours, so it will likely end with a vote somewhere around 3:30 p.m. EST. It needs only a simple majority to pass. Right now it looks like Murkowski has at least 42 votes. It probably won’t pass, but it could be a close one. I’m live-Tweeting the debate, which you can follow below:

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest